Total Weight Loss:
Brandon: 40.4 --he stayed the same.
Moi: 31 pounds exactly! THIRTY-ONE POUNDS! Yes, I consider myself successful. I have 6 pounds left to lose until I reach my goal weight. How, you ask? How did I do all this? Well, you could go through my archives and find out, but I'll save you the time. In a nutshell? I lost 31 pounds in 6 months because I never gave up. I worked hard, plain and simple. And honestly? If I can do it, anybody can. Literally anybody can. Because I have the self-control of a dung beetle hanging out on his last pile of dung. Yes, it's gross, but so was my lack of self-control. It was gross. [And you thought I was going to compare the movie to beetles! Silly, reader. :) ]
MISS AUSTEN REGRETS
Having stubborn pride, I refused to see Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway. The previews made me seethe inside. It was a presumptuous and arrogant idea that brilliant women are only brilliant if they are inspired by men. (Please excuse me while I throw-up.) I was happy to write it off as another attempt at Hollywood to rob us blind --especially Austen fans that would most likely go in droves to see the film. Which they did. I found it insulting and I refused to be taken for a ride. However, now that I have watched Miss Austen Regrets, I think I might have to watch it. If only for research purposes. Or to ridicule it. Or maybe fall in love with it? Who knows?
Now, I watched Miss Austen Regrets Sunday night with great trepidation. Even Olivia Williams (who starred as Jane; and should be noted that she played Jane Fairfax in Emma, the Kate Beckinsale version that we will see in this Masterpiece series) had a few feelings of trepidation herself in making the film. How could she not? Jane Austen is not a character to be taken lightly. People are very protective of their ideas of Jane. Not that I know anybody like that! Ahem.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on the film:
For the most part, it was confusing. Brandon kept asking me questions because new characters were constantly introduced and he wasn't sure what was going on --I only "kind of" knew because of my own research into Jane's life. Still, I was impressed with Olivia William's depiction and interpretation of the character. She was beautiful, graceful, believable, even looked the part of a witty, feminist, satirical author. What gave me even greater comfort? What they got right:
- Jane's favorite brother Henry was indeed a banker and her literary "agent", and he did later become a vicar, after losing all his money and creating financial problems for his brothers.
- Jane was in love with a young man who she could not marry and never saw again.
- Jane did accept and then quickly reject a proposal from a man that could have financially saved them all.
- Jane loved to dance and lived to write.
- Jane's sister was her closest friend.
- Her wit and "forward-thinking" ideas.
- Telling her neice, Fanny, that she shouldn't marry if there was no love.
- The Prince Regent wanting her to dedicate Emma to him and the meeting with the royal librarian.
- Dying slowly of a disease she tried to hide.
- Cassandra burning her letters after her death.
- Jane wanting to write professionally for money.
What they might have made up (and got wrong):
- Falling in love with a young doctor...?
- There's no record that her uncle (the Bridges guy) ever proposed to her (and frankly, having him in the story was rather confusing. At first, I thought his character was the Biggs guy she had accepted than rejected, but it turned out to be her uncle, which was just...jarring and strange.)
- Being massively flirtatious with the menfolk.
- Being fond of the liquor.
- Her irreverent character.
Those statistics (what they got right versus what they got wrong) were highly in the movie-makers' favor. I came away from the movie, not necessarily in love with it, but with deep respect for the director, screenplay, and attempt at recreating a life we know very little about.
Final Result? As a wonderful film I'd want to see over and over? Eh. Perhaps. But as a true depiction of Jane Austen's life? I was very well pleased, indeed.
What did you think?